Good Chest Exercises

Good chest exercises must include a variety of movements for the pectoralis major. This is the large fan like muscle connected to your sternum (breast bone), ribs, clavicle (collarbone) and humerus(arm).

The basic job of the pecs are to move your arm across your body (horizontal adduction) and flex the shoulder joint (bring your hand from your side to above your head.) Good chest exercises will mimic these movement patterns helping to make you stronger in them.

You don’t need fancy equipment to create good chest exercises but you do have to overload the muscle somehow. Push-ups are one of the best chest exercises and don’t require anything but you! Use modifications as needed – remember it is better to have smaller movements with good form than big moves with bad form. See how to do a proper push-up at

When lifting weights the more ways you can overload the muscle in movement patterns the more you’ll be able to target specific areas of the muscle. This requires that you change the movement pattern slightly. For instance performing incline, flat, and decline bench presses will help target the same muscle but with slightly different emphasis. This creates a better defined and stronger muscle through entire range of motion. Its also a good idea to add a small squeeze at the end of the movement (end range movement emphasis) allowing you to target the inner side of the pectoralis which can be difficult to train.

When working out in the gym you will have a variety of equipment at your fingertips. It is a good idea to focus on multiple chest exercises for a solid program.

Other Good Chest Exercises Include: Push-Ups, Presses – with a Bar or Dumbbells – Incline Press, Flat Bench Press, Decline Press, Dumbbell Flies, Cable Flies – standing or using a bench depending on your cable machine), Chest Press machines, Chest Fly machine, Pec Dec machine.

SAFETY NOTE: be careful of your range of motion in all the above – especially your shoulder range of motion to keep you from injury.